Conclusion

It was an amazing trip for six weeks. We enjoyed very much the variety of nature in New Zealand. Of course you can see fjords in Norway, glaciers in Canada, volcanos and turquoise bays in the Caribbean and wonderful mountains in the Alps, but to my knowledge there is no other place on this planet where you can see all these in one country.

We spent 23 days on South Island and 19 days on North Island and drove ca 6500 km (4000 miles). We think that planning a trip on both islands you should spend more time on the South Island then on North Island.

The kiwis (people from New Zealand) are very friendly and very helpful. Unfortuntaley we didn’t have much contact to the Maori population. We saw only some of them hanging around the Countdown supermarkets, some of them drunk and smelling bad. But I am sure that this is a very small part of the Maori population.

The paths in the Natioonal Parks are gorgeous. The DOC (Department of Conservation) is doing a great job in conserving and continously improving the paths and the parks. You can find very clean restrooms evenin the most distant corners of the National parks. I don’t know how they are doing this but it is much better compared to what we know form the Alps in Europe.

The organized trips are very expensive. An one day trip by bus with a guide costs ca 80 – 100 NZD and half a day 40 – 60 NZD.

It is annoying that in small places most of shops and restaurants (except the supermarkets) close very early in the afternoon latest at 5 pm. Sometiomes it is hard to get a dinner!